Turkey arrests two journalists over terror charges

A Turkish court on Saturday ordered the arrest of two journalists on terror charges, Duvar news site reported.

Ruken Demir, a reporter for Mezopotamya, and Melike Aydın from Jin news agency were charged with conducting activities on behalf of a terror organisation, Duvar said.

Jin News Agency, which is staffed only by women, operates from the Kurdish city of Diyarbakır in Turkey’s southeast and focuses reporting on Kurdish and women’s issues.

It has been repeatedly shut down by Turkish authorities, who accuse the agency of making terror propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule.

Two journalists and several members of the Association for Assistance with Relatives of Prisoners and Convicts (TUHAY-DER) were detained in simultaneous police raids on Nov. 12, the news site said.

And members of the association were later released but they were banned from leaving the country.

The government’s broad media crackdown has gained strength since the failed coup of July 2016. Some 115 journalists and media workers are currently behind bars, according to the Journalists' Union of Turkey

In 2018, Turkey placed 157th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index ranking by Reporters Without Borders, and remains the "world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists" according to the report.